The Self (Nafs) in Nursi - Risale Academy Series

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Bediuzzaman Said Nursi defines self (nafs) as a mirror to the manifestation of Divine Oneness. Owing to its function as a mirror, Nursi places the self (nafs) at the centre of man’s/ woman’s constant struggle to achieve a true understanding of God and the universe. If self (nafs) is employed by all other internal faculties, and especially by anā (which means I, self, ego in Arabic), as a mirror to reflect the names and attributes of God in the way defined by the Qur’ān and the Prophetic tradition (Sunnah), then man can rise up to the level of certainty in his/her belief. There are important key concepts in the writings of Nursi; other-indicative meaning (maʿná-yi ḥarfī) and self-referential meaning (maʿná-yi ismī) to understand the Qur'an through the lens of his collection of Epitomes of Light (Risale-i Nur).

Program date: March 31, 2021
Day: Wednesday
Time: 6 PM (EST)

Houston - 5 PM
California - 3 PM
England -
Germany, France, Egypt - (Next day)
Sydney: AM (Next day)

Distinguished speaker of the program: Dr. Omer Kuru
Moderator: Dr. Zuleyha Colak

DR. OMER KURU, was born in Gaziantep in Turkey. He has been working on Said Nursi’s collection called Risale-i Nur /(Epistles of Light) for more than 30 years. Dr. Omer Kuru completed his bachelor degree at the University of Istanbul in 2000. His readings from Epistles of Light started out of his curiosity at an early age, and later has accelerated with a titled “The Self in Relation to The Concept of God” in Durham University in the UK in 20013. He has worked in various Universities and he currently works as an academic member of Theology Department at the University of Aberdeen and works on “Contemporary Sufism: The Relation between Self and Ego from Nursian Perspective” as his Post-Doctoral Research. Dr. Kuru is also interested in Methods of Science, he thinks that the Nursian approach to Methods of Science is unique in that it proves that there is compatibility between (positive) Science and Religion. He has written one book and a number of articles.

DR. ZULEYHA COLAK is a Senior Lecturer and coordinator of Turkish and Ottoman Language program at Middle Eastern Studies department at Columbia University. Previously she taught at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis in Global Studies department between 2005-2010. She received her B. A. in Arabic Language and Literature from Istanbul University, Turkey (1998). She holds two masters’ degrees, one in comparative literature in Arabic Literature in Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey (2000), and one in Central Eurasian Studies/Ottoman and Modern Turkish studies at Indiana University (2003). Her Ph. D dissertation is on the portrayal of Women of Biblical and Quranic Joseph Story from Indiana University in 2010. She has been a board member at Respect Graduate school in Bethlehem, PA and voluntarily teaching courses on Islam. Some courses are Islam 101, Who is Muhammad? and recently a graduate course on Essentials of Islamic Spirituality.

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